WND's Empty Allegation of Bergdahl Ransom Topic: WorldNetDaily
Michael Maloof's June 5 WorldNetDaily article is headlined "Questions mount over 'ransom' for Bergdahl," but the only person who's asking the question appears to be Maloof:
While the Afghan Taliban, which negotiated with the U.S. for the release of US. Army Sgt. Bowe Berdahl, is not on the U.S. terrorist list, it is a member of the Haqqani network, which has been designated by the State Department as a terrorist entity.
The Haqqani network is a notoriously violent Islamic movement out of Pakistan that for years has slipped into Afghanistan and attacked U.S. troops.
Kidnappings have been a means of raising money for its activities, which has raised concern that the U.S. may have paid a ransom to a designated terrorist entity, contrary to U.S. policy.
Informed sources say that the Haqqani network passed Bergdahl to its close ally, the Afghan Taliban. The soldier then was brought to eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province to be handed over to U.S. Special Forces in exchange for five top Taliban commanders incarcerated at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Haqqani network, which raises operating funds through kidnappings and ransom payments, that may have received a ransom of more than $5 million for Bergdahl’s release, sources report.
According to sources, Bergdahl was held most likely in Pakistan’s northern province of North Waziristan[.]
Note that Maloof provides no substantiation for his rumor-mongering, citing only "sources" (and in one case "informed sources").
Despite the utter lack of substance behind Maloof's allegations of a ransom paid for Bergdahl, WND is running with it anyway. Garth Kant pulls in his BFF, soon-to-be-former congressman Steve Stockman, to echo it in another June 5 article:
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, is demanding to know what others in Washington have virtually only dared whisper: Did President Obama pay a ransom to terrorists to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?
The highly provocative ransom question is actually an obvious one, because even though Bergdahl was turned over by the Taliban, he wasn’t held by the Taliban. He was held for five years by the ruthless Haqqani network, which is infamous for raising money by ransoming prisoners.
“The Haqqani network generally does not release Westerners unless they receive a large payment. It would be hard to believe they would release Bergdahl in an exchange that does not directly benefit them,” the congressman said in a summation of a letter he sent to Obama.
That assessment was confirmed in an analysis just released by WND security expert and former pentagon analyst F. Michael Maloof, who called the Haqqani network a notoriously violent Islamic movement out of Pakistan that uses kidnappings to raise money.
So WND is citing WND, which is citing, well, nobody. And Joseph Farah wonders why nobody believes WND.
MRC Censors News Of Bodies In Septic Tank of Irish Nun-Operated Home Topic: Media Research Center
Earlier this year, the Media Research Center repeatedlyattacked the film "Philomena" as "anti-Catholic" for detailing the abuses in the Irish system of unmarried mothers working in indentured servitude in laundries and other convent facilities operated by Catholic nuns (despite the fact that the woman whose story the film is based on praised it as "a testament to good things, not an attack").
In a town in western Ireland, where castle ruins pepper green landscapes, there’s a six-foot stone wall that once surrounded a place called the Home. Between 1925 and 1961, thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the Home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam.
Many of the women, after paying a penance of indentured servitude for their out-of-wedlock pregnancy, left the Home for work and lives in other parts of Ireland and beyond. Some of their children were not so fortunate.
More than five decades after the Home was closed and destroyed — where a housing development and children’s playground now stands — what happened to nearly 800 of those abandoned children has now emerged: Their bodies were piled into a massive septic tank sitting in the back of the structure and forgotten, with neither gravestones nor coffins.
We'd ask what Brent Bozell and his MRC crew had to say about this story, but they have not weighed in on it -- or, perhaps , they have expressed their opinion by refusing to acknowledge it exists.
Asof this writing, no MRC website has mentioned this story -- not even its ostensible "news" division, CNSNews.com.
Remember that Bozell asserted that woman whose story was told in "Philomena" believes that her child really wasn't taken from her since he was "adopted by loving parents," and the girl "obviously" did "something wrong" for the nuns to take the child from her.
How will Bozell justify the nuns' disposal of hundreds of children in a septic tank? We can't wait to find out the answer.
NEW ARTICLE: Monckton's Mendacious Musings Topic: WorldNetDaily
Christopher Monckton is a birther and a climate change denier, two things that seem to explain how he became a WorldNetDaily columnist. Read more >>
Eighty-six percent of the U.S. troops who have been wounded in the war in Afghanistan incurred their injuries after January 2009, the month President Barack Obama was first inaugurated, according to the Department of Defense.
Unusual for CNS, Meyer does acknowledge the existence of war casualties before Obama became president, noting that 'From 2003 until the first quarter of 2009, the majority of the major limb amputations due to battle injuries occurred in [Operation Iraqi Freedom]." But she doesn't mention who was president from 2003 to early 2009 (hint: it wasn't Obama).
At Barbwire.com I recently read Steve Baldwin’s excellent analysis of the flawed thinking characteristic of self-styled “conservatives” who are part of what he rightly describes as “a headlong rush by many conservatives … in support of various aspects of the homosexual agenda.” Mr. Baldwin questions the assumption that homosexual activity involves an issue of constitutional or civil rights like the one involved in the movement to end law-enforced racial discrimination.
In their clamor about global warming, poverty or an end to racism, those who advocate such respect pretend to be “humanitarians.” Yet they seek to discard our respect for the activity that implements the law (of the Creator) intended to preserve and perpetuate the nature of humanity as, in and of ourselves, we know it to be.
We do not forbid people to fly because they are born without wings. So the advocates of law-enforced respect for homosexuality may argue. But if and when they propose that, as a species, we should, like Icarus, fly into the sun, what then? If genocide is wrong for this or that race of human beings, how can self-inflicted genocide be right for humanity as a whole?
There's A Reason Live Action Is Ignored By Non-Right-Wing Media Topic: Media Research Center
Katie Yoder writes in a May 28 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item:
It seems like prime media bait: a group accusing a taxpayer funded organization of horrors from racism to sex trafficking. Except that the story is centered on abortion – and the accused is Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life advocacy group Live Action has released an investigative report and video compiling “shocking activity” that occurs within Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics. As part of a Planned Parenthood Exposed campaign, Live Action asked Americans to sign a petition to halt the $500 million per year in taxpayer money that funds Planned Parenthood. Members of Congress received copies of the report on May 28, according to the press release.
The fact that Yoder is uncritically copying from a Live Action press release shows us the low level of scrutiny she is providing the group. And why should she question anything Lila Rose's group does? They adhere to Yoder's anti-abortion agenda, and that's all she needs to know.
Yoder laments that Live Action "most likely can’t rely on the media to spread its message" -- but she can certainly count on the MRC to do so, which presumably is why Yoder is so willing to be the group's hype woman. But she ignores a key reason what that is: Lila Rose is as dishonest as the activist who trained her, James O'Keefe.
Media Matters has documented how Rose's group has released numerous false attacks on and dishonest smears of Planned Parenthood, which Rose has apparently declared her mortal enemy.
Yoder will never tell you about any of that, of course -- that runs counter to her little PR operation.
Neither will the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, which published a May 30 article by Zoey DiMauro that promotes Rose's campaign of dishonesty and made no apparent effort to let any of her critics respond.
Over the past few years, WorldNetDaily has steadilyattacked a Christian book called "The Shack" for deviating too far from WND's preferred right-wing fundamentalism. Now that "The Shack" is being made into a film, WND's long knives are coming out again.
Bob Unruh does the duty this time in a June 1 WND article:
Hollywood insiders report the next major leap for the message in William Paul Young’s million-selling book “The Shack” is a first-run movie featuring the talents of Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Forest Whitaker.
According to an Indiewire report, Whitaker will direct and star in the Summit Entertainment film based on a book that has become iconic among evangelicals but also has drawn strong criticism for its theology.
One of the chief critics of “The Shack,” James B. De Young, is a former neighbor and colleague of Young who authored a response, “Burning Down ‘The Shack.’” De Young charges that “The Shack” minimizes God’s holiness and judgment, distorts the work of Christ on the cross and falsely grants forgiveness and salvation to everyone, a doctrine known as universalism.
Today only! Stunning exposé of ‘The Shack’ – just 99 cents! Discover how the ‘Christian’ bestseller is deceiving millions
“I remain convinced that ‘The Shack’ is aberrant theology,” De Young told WND on Tuesday. “‘The Shack’ goes to the heart of universal reconciliation, Christian universalism.”
Unmentioned by Unruh: DeYoung's attack book was published by WND. And being an Unruh article, the original author of "The Shack" is not given an opportunity to respond to his critics.
Which makes Unruh's article less of an attack piece and more of an undisclosed in-house ad.
MRC Still Peddling Lies About Rachel Carson Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devoted their May 30 column to lamenting the existence of a "horrible myth" that Ronald Reagan's silence on the growing AIDS epidemic caused people to die, citing a rant by gay activist Larry Kramer: "Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even."
Meanwhile, those who work for Bozell and Graham are busy pushing their own horrible death myths.
In a May 27 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock rants:
The liberals at Google honored radical environmentalist Rachel Carson on their home page, Tuesday, in honor of what would have been her 107th birthday. With the Google logo in the background, an illustration featured the late Carson in the wilderness, next to birds, turtles and butterflies. Clicking on this picture will bring web browsers to a search of all things Carson. Journalists, Al Gore and Hollywood have long lauded the activist. But few of them have questioned her accuracy or impact.
Carson's claim to fame came when she published Silent Spring in 1962. The book warned of the dangers of pesticide to birds and lobbied for banning the chemical DDT. However, this contention turned out to be flat-out wrong and has had deadly consequences. As San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards explained: "This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result."
In an article entitled "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies," Forbes writer Henry Miller explained how Carson's fear-mongering cost millions of lives:
Will Google do a tribute to the millions who died because of DDT bans?
Except little of that is actually true. As we pointed out the last time the MRC did this, Carson never advocated for banning DDT, just that they not be overused. And for good reason -- overuse was creating DDT-resistant mosquitoes. Also, the U.S. ban on DDT didn't apply to the rest of the world and, thus, could not possibly have caused "millions of lives." Further, DDT is undenably destructive to the environment.
We will see Google do "a tribute to the millions who died because of DDT bans" before conservatives like Whitlock acknowledges the millions of deaths caused DDT-resistant mosquitoes.
WND Freaks Out Over Preserving Gay Landmarks Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily, as befits a website with an anti-gay agenda, is not taking well the news that the federal government wants to preserve gay-related landmarks.
WND promoted a May 29 article on the subject on the front page with the headline "Obama's feds to honor America's moral decline":
The headline of the actual article is only slightly less awful: "'Gay' national monuments to rewrite America's history."
The article itself, by Bob Unruh (which, despite WND's promotion, does not mention Obama), makes no mention of any purported "rewriting" of American history; rather, Unruh spends much of it seizing on the idea that Harvey Milk’s former camera shop in San Francisco might be considered a landmark to rehash right-wing attacks on Milk and to quote a right-wing activist ludicrously complaining that popularity should determine what history gets preserved.
NewsBusters Fooled By Fake Seth Rogen Twitter Account Topic: NewsBusters
Jeffrey Lord dedicated a May 31 NewsBusters post to attacking actor Seth Rogen for allegedly issuing a tweet in 2012 bashing Mitt Romney. Why do that? To claim hypocrisy over Rogen's outrage over Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday for suggesting Rogen's films may have inspired mass killer Elliot Rodger: "So in other words, Rogen, who now finds Hornaday’s article 'horribly insulting and misinformed' was himself out there in 2012 making a 'horribly insulting and misinformed' charge against Mitt Romney."
Just one problem: Rogen didn't actually make the Twitter post Lord criticized. As Mediaite details, it came from a Rogen parody Twitter account. The real Rogen, meanwhile, is mocking NewsBusters for the stupid mistake.
Lord has now appended a correction to his post, which is still alive even though the entire premise wasfraudulent:
Seth Rogen has “parody” twitter accounts. And he’s upset with me because I mistakenly quoted one of them as real. He has called me an “idiot.” The source where I found this originally - and duly and deliberately linked - was the lefty MoveOn. MoveOn was apparently fooled by the “Real Seth” parody, which in turn fooled me, although in fact the parody was well out there. MoveOn having long ago become a parody I was quite happy to link it. So the notion that a Hollywood liberal would simply parrot this Romney/Klan story was all too easy to believe. But in fact, it was a parody. Our apologies for the error.
Lord, normally a writer for the right-wing American Spectator, is best known for insisting that a black man beaten to death in segregation-era Georgia wasn't technically "lynched" because his assailants didn't hang him and there weren't enough of them to form a proper mob. Lord stood by his article even as his AmSpec compatriots wouldn't defend him.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Southern Poverty Law Center details the latest crusade of WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi: In league with the racist-tinged group TeaParty.org, he's calling for the impeachment of President Obama over "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, despite the fact that Corsi is misusing the term and the anti-immigration group's report he's relying on is highly flawed.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Accuracy in Media Edition Topic: Accuracy in Media
For Barack Obama speeches are not just motivational instruments or representations of a desired state of affairs, but feats of political transubstantiation, where, if he utters them, words become reality.
It is a behavior not dissimilar to Adolf Hitler maneuvering imaginary German divisions from his Berlin bunker while Russian troops rampage throughout the city above him.
-- Lawrence Sellin, May 29 Accuracy in Media column
On Memorial Day, Barack Obama unashamedly did his best to attempt to save face by showing up at Arlington National Cemetery with the hopes that you would believe that he supports American ideals, along with our boys and girls in uniform. All the while, he spends his allotted time (to America’s own demise) destroying and desecrating their memories by trampling the Constitution they sacrificed themselves to magnify.
Strangely, Dean offered no evidence whatsoever that Obama spent his Memorial Day speech "destroying and desecrating their memories by trampling the Constitution they sacrificed themselves to magnify." In fact, Dean quotes Obama saying things that even Dean could agree with:
“We rededicate ourselves to our sacred obligations to all who wear America’s uniform, and to the families who stand by them always,” Obama said, pledging troops would have needed resources and that the United States would continue to search for those who had gone missing or become prisoners of war.
“As we’ve been reminded in recent days, we must do more to keep faith with our veterans and their families, and ensure they get the care and benefits and opportunities that they’ve earned and that they deserve,” he said.
Nevertheless, Dean huffs, "Again, Obama is hoping that you will put the crimes he has committed, and is committing against the American people on a daily basis, out of your mind." Just like Dean his hoping you do with his lengthy record of lies.
Newsmax TV Targets 'Disenfranchised Baby Boomers'? Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax made the big announcement in a May 29 article by Robert O'Leary:
Focused on serving an audience of more than 80 million disenfranchised baby boomers, Newsmax Media Inc.'s Newsmax TV has signed a distribution deal with DirecTV and is accelerating toward a national launch that expects to reach 40 percent of U.S. cable and satellite homes by the end of this year.
Newsmax TV also plans a major OTT platform rollout with penetration estimated in excess of 100 million iOS and Android smart devices.
Wait -- "disenfranchised baby boomers"?
Actually, Newsmax's audience is quite enfranchised -- according to Newsmax itself. Here's how the media kit for Newsmax magazine describes its demographics:
72% are men
93% are 55 and older
30% have a portfolio valued at $500,000-2,000,000
83% own a single family home
17% are professionals or business owners
57% are college graduates or higher
45% have a total net worth of $500,000+
And here's the demographics for Newsmax.com, according to its media kit:
51% of readers are male.
58% of the Newsmax.com audience is 55 years of age or older.
79% of readers have attended college.
26% of readers are retired.
61% of readers have a household income of $60,000+
47% of readers have a household income of $75,000+
20% more likely to have completed Graduate School and received a degree.
45% more likely to have no children living in the household.
48% more likely to own a Condominium.
Both media kits tout how "Newsmax Media reaches afflfluent and inflfluential readers," particularly "conservative voters, families with high household incomes, vacation travelers, or car buyers."
If that's being "disenfranchised," where can we sign up?
WND's Unruh Links To, But Does Not Quote From, Court Ruling He Disagrees With Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh uses a May 23 WorldNetDaily article to crank out one of his one-sidedspecials, this time regarding the case of a police captain ordered to attend an "Islamic mosque where Muslims 'discussed Islamic beliefs, Muhammad, Mecca, and why and how Muslims pray' in addition to encouraging officers 'to buy' Islamic books and pamphlets that were for sale."
Unruh links to the judge's ruling in the case but, curiously, does not directly quote from it anywhere in his artice. Instead, much of the article is dedicated to bashing the ruling andtelling the case from the side of the plaintiff and his attorneys at the right-wing American Freedom Law Center.
As such, Unruh's readers don't get to read the reason that Capt. Paul Fields' lawsuit was dismissed in the full words of the judge who dismissed it:
First, the Attendance Order did not burden Fields’s religious rights because it did not require him to violate his personal religious beliefs by attending the event; he could have obeyed the order by ordering others to attend, and he has not contended on appeal that he had informed his supervisors that doing so would have violated his religious beliefs. Second, the order did not violate the Establishment Clause because no informed, reasonable observer would have perceived the order or the event as a government endorsement of Islam. Third, the order did not burden Fields’s right of association because it did not interfere with his right to decide what organizations to join as a member. Fourth, Fields’s equal-protection claim duplicates his free-exercise claim and fails for the same reason. And fifth, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Fields’s motion to amend the complaint to add ORFA and free-speech retaliation claims because the amendment would have been futile. He has provided no reason why his ORFA claim could succeed when his religion claims under the First Amendment do not. And his retaliation claim would fail because the interests of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) as an employer outweighed Fields’s free-speech interests in filing his suit.
Because the Attendance Order did not violate Fields’s right to the free exercise of religion, TPD could lawfully punish him for violating it. An invalid religious objection to an order that does not burden your free exercise of religion does not immunize you from punishment for violation of the order.
The judge also shot down AFLC's (and, thus, Unruh's) suggestion that the event was solely about prostelyzation. In fact, the mosque was hosting a law-enforcement appreciation event:
No informed reasonable person could view the purpose or effect of TPD’s attendance at the event as suggesting that Islam is a preferred religion. Officers attending the event were not required to attend a religious service (and the timing of visits ensured that no officer would be required to be there during a service), read Islamic literature, or even discuss Islam. Those who wished to learn more about Islam could do so. The Establishment Clause does not prohibit governmental efforts to promote tolerance, understanding, and neighborliness. There is no evidence in the record of any attempts to convert officers to Islam, as opposed to providing information. And in any event, if perhaps some representatives of the Center crossed the line, there is nothing that would suggest to a reasonable observer that such conduct had received governmental endorsement.
But since Unruh is such a lazy and biased reporter -- and WND is paying him for that laziness and bias -- his readers won't know the full truth about this case.